Tag Archives: lord jesus

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Strong Love Is the Proof

“And so I am giving a new commandment to you now – love each other just as much as I love you. Your strong love for each other will prove to the world that you are My disciples” (John 13:34,35).

A Navajo Indian woman who had been healed of a serious ailment by a missionary doctor was greatly impressed by the love he manifested.

“If Jesus is anything like the doctor,” she said, “I can trust Him forever.”

The doctor was a living example of the above promise. When Jesus spoke these words, the entire known world was filled with hate, war and fear. The Jews and the Gentiles hated each other. The Greeks and the Romans hated each other.

But with the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and the day of Pentecost came a breath of heavenly love. Those who received Jesus, the incarnation of love, into their lives and who chose to obey His command began to love one another. The pagan world looked on in amazement and said of the believers, “How they love one another!”

Within a few years following this command to love one another, the gospel had spread like a prairie fire throughout the known world. The miracle of God’s love, His supernatural agape, had captivated multitudes throughout the decadent, wicked Roman Empire.

Tragically, today one seldom hears “How they love one another!” about Christians. Instead there is far too much suspicion, jealousy, criticism and conflict between Christians, churches and denominations. The unbelieving world often laughs at our publicized conflicts.

But those individuals who do demonstrate this supernatural love are usually warmly received by nonbelievers as well as believers. The churches that obey our Lord’s command to “love one another” usually are filled to overflowing and are making a great impact for good and for the glory of God. They represent a highly desirable alternative to secular society.

How does one love supernaturally? By faith. God’s Word commands us to love (John 13:34,35). God’s Word promises that He will enable us to do what He commands us to do (John 5:14,15).

Bible Reading: 1 John 3:14-19

Today’s Action Point: Through the enabling of the Holy Spirit, I will by faith love others and thus prove that I am a true disciple of the Lord Jesus.

 

http://www.cru.org

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Night Songs

 

Psalm 77:6

Animals that are active at night rather than during the day are called nocturnal. For example, nightingales are birds that sing at night. That’s how they got their name. People aren’t like that: we’re awake and working while the sun shines, and we go to bed and sleep during the night.

Do you ever have trouble sleeping at night because you are worried about something? David, the man who wrote the psalm above, sometimes couldn’t sleep. While he was awake at night, he used the time to pray, sing, and think about God. In another place David says, “My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises” (Psalm 119:148). Instead of worrying about his problems, David took the time to think about God’s promises.

The next time you are lying awake, try singing a song from church. Or ask Mom or Dad to pray with you. Perhaps it would help just to remember that God said he would never leave you alone.

Dear Lord, Your promises are just as good in the night as they are in the daytime. Thank you for your love. Amen.

Today’s Turning Point with David Jeremiah – Everyone Has a Plan

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

Recommended Reading

Jeremiah 29:1-11

Boxer Mike Tyson once said, “Everyone has a plan ‘till they get punched in the mouth.” It’s amazing how easily our plans are derailed. If you’ve ever planned a trip, a church event, a family gathering, or the launch of a business plan, you know to expect the unexpected. Sometimes life punches us in the mouth.

Our Almighty God has a plan for our lives, and His plans are never derailed. In Jeremiah 29, the prophet Jeremiah warned his people of coming judgment and impending invasion. The nation of Judah was about to be punched in the mouth. But God’s plans were undeterred, and Jeremiah reassured them of their eventual return and restoration to the land. “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you… plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV).

It’s important to plan and prepare for life. But if your plans have suffered a setback, don’t let discouragement overtake your mind. Your heavenly Father loves you, He knows all about it, and His plans will unfold with grace and mercy, in His timing, and for His glory.

Sometimes our plans don’t work out because God has better ones.

Anonymous

Read-Thru-the-Bible

Luke 13 – 15

 

http://www.davidjeremiah.org/

Charles Stanley – When Facing Life’s Mountains

 

Zechariah 4:1-9

Wouldn’t it be great if it were easy to do God’s will? But sometimes it seems as if a mountain stands between us and what we’ve been called to do. When Zerubbabel felt this way, the Lord sent His prophet Zechariah with a message of encouragement.

Zerubbabel was given the task of rebuilding the temple. When King Solomon built the first temple, the kingdom was at peace, the treasuries were overflowing, and the workforce was huge. But the situation was quite different when the Jews returned after 70 years of Babylonian captivity. They were few in number, their enemies kept attacking them, Jerusalem was in ruins, and resources were very limited. Zechariah’s message to Zerubbabel (Zech. 4:1-9) contained two principles that strengthened him and will also help us when we face insurmountable obstacles.

  • We are to face our God-given tasks in the power of the Holy Spirit, not in our own strength and energy (Zech. 4:6). The Lord’s work can never be done with human strength. His indwelling Spirit must empower us with the wisdom and energy to accomplish His will in our lives.
  • When God calls us to a task, He assumes the responsibility for removing any hindrances (Zech. 4:7-9). What seems to us like Mount Kilimanjaro is a mere anthill for the Lord. When we’re tempted to give up, it’s time to look up, see the obstacle through His eyes, and trust Him.

Is the Lord asking you to do something that seems impossible? Dwelling on your own inadequacy leads to discouragement, but focusing on the Lord gives hope and the strength to persevere.

Bible in One Year: Luke 8-9

 

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — Good Medicine

Read: Ephesians 4:25-32

Bible in a Year: Isaiah 23-25; Philippians 1

A cheerful heart is good medicine.—Proverbs 17:22

Careless driving, rising tempers, and use of foul language among some taxi and minibus drivers are a constant source of traffic fights in our city of Accra, Ghana. But one traffic incident I witnessed took a different turn. A bus was almost hit by a careless taxi driver. I expected the bus driver to get angry and yell at the other driver, but he didn’t. Instead, the bus driver relaxed his stern face and smiled broadly at the guilty-looking taxi driver. And the smile worked wonders. With a raised hand, the taxi driver apologized, smiled back, and moved away—the tension diffused.

A smile has a fascinating effect on our brain chemistry. Researchers have found that “when we smile it releases brain chemicals called endorphins which have an actual physiological relaxing effect.” Not only can a smile diffuse a tense situation, but it can also diffuse tension within us. Our emotions affect us as well as others. The Bible teaches us to “get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another” (Eph. 4:31-32).

When anger or tension or bitterness threatens our relationship with the Lord and with others, it helps to remember that “a cheerful heart is good medicine” for our own joy and well-being. —Lawrence Darmani

Think about a time when you were angry with someone or when you had an argument. How did you feel inside? What parts of your life did it affect?

We find joy when we learn to live in Jesus’s love.

INSIGHT: Paul tells his readers to “get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice” (Eph. 4:31). The Greek word translated “get rid of” is artheto, and it means to lift something for the purpose of carrying it off or putting it away. Getting rid of sinful and destructive behavior requires that we allow the Holy Spirit to remove those things that mark our former life (4:17-24) so that the compassion and forgiveness of Christ (v. 32) will flourish. Dennis Moles

 

http://www.odb.org

Greg Laurie – Perfect Peace

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.—Isaiah 26:3

I remember asking Billy Graham a number of years ago about what he experienced when he gave the invitation for people to come to Christ at a crusade. He said, “When I am preaching and giving the invitation, I feel like power is draining out of me.” I understand that, because it is a spiritual battle that rages on. When we are serving the Lord, it can be draining in many ways. It can even be draining spiritually.

Jesus, who was fully God, also was fully man. That means He was human just like you and me. He felt pain. He felt sorrow. He felt hunger. And He could feel weary from a hard day’s work. In Matthew 8, we read that Jesus, tired after a day of ministry, was sleeping soundly. He and the disciples were on a very primitive wooden boat, being tossed back and forth like a cork in the ocean.

How do you sleep in a storm like that? You can sleep in a storm when you’re confident in the will of God. In other words, you know you’re doing what you should be doing. Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”

Sometimes the worries and pressures of life keep us awake at night. When this happens to me, I’ll pray about it and say, “Lord, I can’t worry about this for a while, so I’m going to let You worry about it. I’m going to get some shut-eye.” I’m being humorous, of course, because I know God isn’t going to worry about it. But I’m entrusting the matter to Him. That is what we need to do when we’re tired and overwhelmed by worry. We need to cry out to God.

 

https://www.harvest.org/

BreakPoint – Proof That Religion is Good for America

A few months ago on BreakPoint, I mentioned a Pew study that demonstrated Americans’ increasing ignorance of the vital role played by religious institutions in this country. Between 2001 and 2016, the percentage of Americans who think that religion plays a role in solving important social problems fell from 75 percent to 58 percent.

As I said at the time, “part of the problem is that the religious contribution to the common good is so woven into the fabric of American life, most people these days just take it for granted and never stop to think about how prevalent it really is.” In fact, according to another study, half of Americans think that the government could replace religious organizations with no problems and nothing lost.

And now, a new study quantifies just how wrong half of Americans are.

Published in the Interdisciplinary Journal of Research in Religion, the study quantifies that “religion in the United States today contributes $1.2 trillion each year to our economy and society.” That’s “trillion” with a “tr,” or “more than the top ten tech companies combined—including Google, Apple, and Amazon.”

Put another way, if American religion were a country, it would rank 14th or 15th among the world’s economies, just ahead of Russia and just behind Australia. Put still another way, religion accounts for a little under seven percent of our economic output.

Now you still think that religion can just be replaced?

The study conducted by Brian and Melissa Grim of Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs reminds those willing to listen that the nation’s 344,000 religious congregations aren’t just houses of worship, “they are also the nucleus of many communities.” They are the “centers for job training, charity, child care, and social events.”

They employ “hundreds of thousands of people, creating jobs, and spend billions of dollars on goods and services, which support local businesses.” And finally, they fund 1.5 million social programs and gather 7.5 million volunteers.

As Brian Grim put it, the benefits of religion aren’t intangible, nor are they limited to the members of these congregations. People of faith serve the vulnerable because of their faith.

Continue reading BreakPoint – Proof That Religion is Good for America

Our Daily Bread — Beyond Time

Read: John 6:53-69

Bible in a Year: Proverbs 19-21; 2 Corinthians 7

“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”—John 6:68–69

During 2016, theater companies in Britain and around the world have staged special productions to mark the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare. Concerts, lectures, and festivals have drawn crowds who celebrate the enduring work of the man widely considered to be the greatest playwright in the English language. Ben Jonson, one of Shakespeare’s contemporaries, wrote of him, “He was not of an age, but for all time.”

While the influence of some artists, writers, and thinkers may last for centuries, Jesus Christ is the only person whose life and work will endure beyond time. He claimed to be “the bread that came down from heaven . . . whoever feeds on this bread will live forever” (v. 58).

When many people who heard Jesus’s teaching were offended by His words and stopped following Him (John 6:61-66), the Lord asked His disciples if they also wanted to leave (v. 67). Peter replied, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God” (vv. 68-69).

When we invite Jesus to come into our lives as our Lord and Savior, we join His first disciples and all those who have followed Him in a new life that will last forever—beyond time. —David McCasland

Lord Jesus, thank You for the gift of eternal life in fellowship with You today and forever.

Jesus is the Son of God, the Man beyond time, who gives us eternal life.

INSIGHT: The backdrop for today’s passage is the forty years God miraculously sustained the Jews with manna (Ex. 16). The feeding of the 5,000 (John 6:1-13) caused the Jews to compare Jesus to Moses. Jesus told them it was God, not Moses, who had fed the Jews (v. 32). He then gave them one of the key revelations of His identity: “I am the bread of life” (vv. 35, 48) sent from heaven to offer eternal life (vv. 51, 58).

 

http://www.odb.org

The Navigators – Jerry Bridges – Holiness Day by Day Devotional – Desperately Dependent

Today’s Scripture: Galatians 5:25

“If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”

Progressive sanctification is not a partnership with the Spirit in the sense that we each—the believer and the Holy Spirit—do our respective tasks. Rather, we work as he enables us to work. His work lies behind all our work and makes our work possible.

The Holy Spirit can and does work within us apart from any conscious response on our part. We see this in the initial act of sanctification when he creates within us a new heart and a new disposition toward God and his will. He’s not dependent on us to do this.

But we’re dependent on him to do our work; we cannot do anything apart from him. In the process of sanctification there are certain things only the Spirit can do, and certain things he has given us to do. For example, only he can create in our hearts the desire to obey God, but he does not obey for us. We must do that, but we can do so only as he enables us.

So we must depend on the Spirit to do within us what only he can do. And we must equally depend on him to enable us to do what he has given us to do. Whether his work or our work, we’re dependent on him.

We aren’t just dependent on him; we’re desperately dependent. Because we so often equate Christ-like character with ordinary morality, we fail to realize how impossible it is for us to attain any degree of conformity to Christ by ourselves. But if we take seriously the many Christ-like character traits we’re to put on, we see how impossible it is to grow in Christ-likeness apart from the sanctifying influence and power of the Spirit.

 

https://www.navigators.org/Home

Night Light for Couples – Balloons and Children

 

“My time has not yet come.” John 2:4

I (jcd) once attended a wedding in a beautiful garden setting. After the minister told the groom to kiss the bride, about 150 colorful, helium‐filled balloons were released into the blue sky. Within a few seconds the balloons were scattered, some rising hundreds of feet overhead and others cruising toward the horizon. A few balloons struggled to clear the upper branches of the trees, while the showoffs became mere pinpoints of color in the sky.

Like balloons, some boys and girls are born with more helium than others. They soar effortlessly to the heights, while others wobble dangerously close to the trees. Their frantic folks run along underneath, huffing and puffing to keep them airborne.

Are you a parent of a low‐flying child? Over the years, I’ve worked with hundreds of families whose children were struggling in one way or another. Based on what I’ve seen, let me pass along a word of encouragement to worried parents: Sometimes the child who has the most trouble getting off the ground eventually reaches the greatest height!

Just between us…

  • What kinds of balloons do our kids most resemble?
  • Do we tend to panic when our low‐fliers drift in the wrong direction?
  • Do we love them any less than those who soar?
  • How can we avoid prematurely judging how a child will turn out?
  • How can we pump more “helium” into our relationship with our low‐flier?

Heavenly Father, tonight we ask for wisdom and patience as we raise our children. We let go of our own requirements and timelines for their lives. We trust Your providence and grace. Every day, help us obey You in this great calling of being a parent. Amen.

From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson

Charles Stanley – The Purpose of Spiritual Highs

 

Hebrews 11:17-19

The Lord doesn’t offer us tremendous spiritual experiences simply so we may boast or witness something marvelous. Instead, He uses them to foster genuine faith. They are part of His unique process for maturing us as disciples of Jesus.

God gives us spiritual highs for several reasons: to unveil Himself in a fresh way, to prepare us for the valley, and ultimately to teach us obedience. The lessons we learn from Him in those special moments of peak revelation are intended to carry us through harder times. Then we can look back and remember what He taught on the mountaintop.

But this means that when the Lord gives us a glimpse of glory, we can expect to be tried later. If we fail, He’ll test us again. And He will keep testing until the trials become triumphs in our life. Every pupil must be put to the test, and those who obey bring honor to God’s name.

An exceptional spiritual encounter with Jesus Christ is intended to encourage our growth, deepen our intimacy with God, and develop obedience. It is also designed to enhance our motivation to serve the Lord with all our heart, giving ourselves without reservation for His work and His glory.

Treasure each and every thing God teaches you in your prayer closet—during times of profound worship, in a moment of deep devotion, or when you’re all alone, listening and intimately conversing with Him. Every moment of your life is ripe for growth and spiritual maturity. If you let the Lord shape you and lead you on the path of obedience, He’ll take you to even greater heights.

Bible in One Year: Zechariah 1-5

Alistair Begg – Lessons from Leprosy

 

And if the leprous disease has covered all his body, he shall pronounce him clean of the disease. Leviticus 13:13

This regulation appears to be very strange, but there was wisdom in it, for the throwing out of the disease proved that the constitution was sound. This morning it may be well for us to see the typical teaching of this singular principle. We, too, are lepers and may read the law of the leper as applicable to ourselves. When a man sees himself to be completely lost and ruined, covered all over with the defilement of sin, and with no part free from pollution, when he disclaims all righteousness of his own and pleads guilty before the Lord, then is he clean through the blood of Jesus and the grace of God.

Hidden, unfelt, unconfessed iniquity is the true leprosy, but when sin is seen and felt it has received its death blow, and the Lord looks with eyes of mercy upon the soul afflicted with it. Nothing is more deadly than self-righteousness or more hopeful than contrition. We must confess that we are nothing else but sin, for no confession short of this will be the whole truth. And if the Holy Spirit is at work within us, convincing us of sin, there will be no difficulty in making such an acknowledgment-it will spring spontaneously from our lips.

What comfort this text provides to those under a deep sense of sin! Sin mourned and confessed, however deep and foul, will never shut a man out from the Lord Jesus. “Whoever comes to me I will never cast out.”1 Though dishonest as the thief, though immoral as the woman who was a sinner, though fierce as Saul of Tarsus, though cruel as Manasseh, though rebellious as the prodigal, the great heart of love will look upon the man who feels himself to have no health in him and will pronounce him clean when he trusts in Jesus crucified. Come to Him, then, poor heavy-laden sinner.

Come needy, come guilty, come loathsome and bare;

You can’t come too filthy-come just as you are.

1) John 6:37

The Family Bible Reading Plan

  • 1 Kings 1
  • Galatians 5

Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg.

Our Daily Bread — Give It Away

 

Read: Philippians 2:19-30

Bible in a Year: Isaiah 5-6; Ephesians 1

I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, . . . whom you sent to take care of my needs. —Philippians 2:25

Many charities that help people with various needs depend on donations of unwanted clothing and household items from those who have more than enough. And it’s good to give away unused things so they can benefit others. But we are often more reluctant to part with things of value that we use every day.

When Paul was imprisoned in Rome, he needed continuing encouragement and the companionship of trusted friends. Yet he sent two of his closest comrades to help the followers of Jesus in Philippi (Phil. 2:19-30). “I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon . . . . I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare” (vv. 19-20). And, “I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs” (v. 25). Paul freely gave to others what he most needed himself.

Whatever we feel is “most valued” in our lives today could be of great benefit to someone we know. It may be our time, friendship, encouragement, a listening ear, or a helping hand. When we give away what the Lord has given to us, He is honored, others are helped, and we are blessed. —David McCasland

Lord, show me what I cling to. If someone needs it, open my heart and my hands and help me give it away today.

Giving freely honors the Lord, helps others, and blesses us.

INSIGHT: Epaphroditus is mentioned only in today’s passage and in Philippians 4:18. The Philippian church had sent him to minister to Paul, who was in a Roman prison (2:25). He willingly took the role of Paul’s personal servant and also brought gifts from the church (4:18). Paul called him “my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier” (2:25). Epaphroditus had become seriously ill and upon recovery Paul sent him back to Philippi, carrying with him this letter of encouragement (vv. 27-29). Paul asked the church to honor him for his faithfulness and the costliness of the service he had rendered to Christ (v. 30; 1 Thess. 5:12-13). Sim Kay Tee

Joyce Meyer – Whatever You Face

 

And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter recalled the Lord’s words, how He had told him, Before the cock crows today, you will deny Me thrice. And he went out and wept bitterly [that is, with painfully moving grief].- Luke 22:61–62

The apostle Peter was a man who began with phony boldness. He thought he was bold, but in reality he was forward, presumptuous, rude, and foolish on many occasions. Peter was usually the first one to speak, but what he said was often prideful and completely out of place. Peter thought more highly of himself than he should have. He needed to trade his self-confidence for confidence in God.

Jesus tried to warn Peter that he would deny Him three times in a very short period of time, but Peter thought that was absolutely impossible. After Jesus allowed Himself to be captured, Peter was recognized as one of His disciples. He immediately denied that he even knew Him. Peter continued on with the same fearful response until he quickly denied Christ three times. Peter, who appeared to be so bold, fell apart in fear during a real crisis (Luke 22).

What are you facing right now? Are there threatening circumstances looming in front of you? If so, remember that God is with you and He will never leave you or forsake you.

Lord, it’s always humbling to read about Peter’s denial. I need the strength that comes from You more than I can possibly realize. Help me to draw so close to You today that I can face any challenge. Amen.

 

Charles Spurgeon – The condescension of Christ

 

“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9

Suggested Further Reading: Mark 15:16-39

Our Lord Jesus might have said in all his sorrows, “I have known better days than these.” When he was tempted of the devil in the wilderness, it must have been hard for him to have restrained himself from dashing the devil into pieces. If I had been the Son of God, feeling as I do now, if that devil had tempted me I should have dashed him into the nethermost hell, in the twinkling of an eye! And then conceive the patience our Lord must have had, standing on the pinnacle of the temple, when the devil said, “Fall down and worship me.” He would not touch him, the vile deceiver, but let him do what he pleased.Oh! What might of misery and love there must have been in the Saviour’s heart when he was spat upon by the men he had created; when the eyes he himself had filled with vision, looked on him with scorn, and when the tongues, to which he himself had given utterance, hissed and blasphemed him! Oh, my friends, if the Saviour had felt as we do, and I doubt not he did feel in some measure as we do—only by great patience he curbed himself—he might have swept them all away; and, as they said, he might have come down from the cross, and delivered himself, and destroyed them utterly. It was mighty patience that could bear to tread this world beneath his feet, and not to crush it, when it so ill-treated its Redeemer.You marvel at the patience which restrained him; you marvel also at the poverty he must have felt, the poverty of spirit, when they rebuked him and he reviled them not again; when they scoffed at him, and yet he said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” He had seen brighter days; that made his misery more bitter, and his poverty more poor.

For meditation: In the garden Jesus could have used his power to call twelve legions of angels to his rescue (Matthew 26:53), but instead he employed it to heal the ear of one of his enemies (Luke 22:51). On the cross he could have used his power to save himself, but instead he continued to employ it to save others—his enemies, including us (Romans 5:10).

Sermon no. 151

13 September (1857)

Charles Spurgeon – The question of fear and the answer of faith

 

“Will he plead against me with his great power? No; but he would put strength in me.” Job 23:6

Suggested Further Reading: 2 Corinthians 2:14-3: 5

Didst thou ever stand and take a view of heaven? Hast thou discerned the hills which lie between your soul and paradise? Hast thou counted the lions thou hast to fight, the giants to be slain, and the rivers to be crossed? Didst thou ever notice the many temptations with which thou art beset, the trials thou hast to endure, the difficulties thou hast to overcome, the dangers thou hast to avoid? Didst thou ever take a bird’s eye view of heaven, and all the dangers which are strewn thickly along the path thither? And didst thou ever ask thyself this question, “How shall I, a poor feeble worm, ever get there?” Didst thou ever say within thyself, “I am not a match for all my foes, how shall I arrive at paradise?” If thou hast ever asked this question, I will tell thee what is the only answer for it: thou must be girded with almighty strength, or else thou wilt never gain the victory. Easy thy path may be, but it is too hard for thy infantile strength, without the almighty power. Thy path may be one of little temptation, and of shallow trial; but thou wilt be drowned in the floods yet, unless almighty power preserve thee. Mark me! However smooth thy way, there is nothing short of the bare arm of deity that can land any one of you in heaven. We must have divine strength, or else we shall never get there. And there is an illustration of these words: “No, but he will put his strength in me.” “And shall I hold on to the end?” says the believer. Yes, thou wilt, for God’s strength in is thee. “Shall I be able to bear such-and-such a trial?” Yes, thou wilt. Cannot omnipotence stem the torrent? And omnipotence is in thee; for, like Ignatius of old, thou art a God-bearer; thou bearest God about with thee. Thy heart is a temple of the Holy Spirit, and thou shalt yet overcome.

For meditation: For meditation: Without Christ we can do nothing (John 15:5)—we have no reason for self-confidence. In Christ we can do all things (Philippians 4:13)—there is no need for despair. Do you regard yourself as self-sufficient or as Christ-sufficient? See 2 Corinthians 12:9.

Sermon no. 108
8 September (Preached 31 August 1856)

Greg Laurie – What Would You Like Your Last Words to Be?

 

“He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”

—Revelation 22:20

A person’s last words often provide a glimpse into their character. They reveal what a person valued most. Some parting comments are thoughtful; others spontaneous; others surprising.

On March 14, 1883, the day Karl Marx died, his housekeeper came to him and said, “Tell me your last words, and I will write them down!” Marx replied, “Go on, get out! Last words are for fools who haven’t said enough!”

  • Groucho Marx’s last words were, “Die, my dear? Why, that’s the last thing I’ll do!”
  • Nostradamus predicted the future correctly: “Tomorrow, I shall no longer be here.”
  • Pablo Picasso said, “Drink to me. Drink to my health. You know I can’t drink any more.
  • The Roman emperor Julian, having attempted to reverse the official endorsement of Christianity by the Roman Empire, gave his last words: “You have won, O’ Galilean!”

The words of men of faith are far different.

When Stephen, who was being stoned to death, was dying, his last words were, “Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:56). Then Stephen said, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” Young Stephen—so like Jesus, who from Calvary said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

  • John Wesley said, “The best of all is: God is with us!”
  • D.L. Moody: “I see earth receding, and heaven is opening. God is calling me.”
  • F.B. Meyer requested, “Read me something from the Bible—something brave and triumphant!”

Here are the last recorded words of Jesus: “Surely I am coming quickly” (Revelation 22). The apostle John, overwhelmed, offers a prayer: “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” The word Amen means “So be it!” Or as Saint Paul said, “Let it be.” (Saint Paul McCartney, that is.)

What would you like your last words to be?

Alistair Begg – Doubt and Unbelief

 

How long will they not believe in me…? Numbers 14:11

Strive with all diligence to keep out the monster of unbelief. It is so dishonoring to Christ that He will withdraw His visible presence if we insult Him by tolerating it. It is true it is a weed that we can never entirely remove from the soil, but we must aim at its root with zeal and perseverance. Among hateful things it is the most to be defeated. Its hurtful nature is so poisonous that he that uses it and he upon whom it is used are both harmed by it. In your case, believer, it is most wicked, for the mercies of your Lord in the past increase your guilt in doubting Him now. When you distrust the Lord Jesus, He may well cry out, “Behold, I will press you down in your place, as a cart full of sheaves presses down.” To doubt is to crown His head with thorns of the sharpest kind.

It is very cruel for a well-beloved wife to mistrust a kind and faithful husband. The sin is needless, foolish, and unwarranted. Jesus has never given the slightest ground for suspicion, and it is hard to be doubted by those to whom our conduct is consistently affectionate and true. Jesus is the Son of the Highest and has unlimited wealth; it is shameful to doubt Omnipotence and distrust His sufficiency. The cattle on a thousand hills will be enough for our most hungry feeding, and the granaries of heaven are not likely to be emptied by our eating. If Christ were only a cistern, we might soon exhaust His fullness, but who can drain a fountain? Countless believers throughout the ages have drawn their supplies from Him, and not one of them has complained at the insufficiency of His resources.

Dispel this lying traitor unbelief, for his only errand is to cut the bonds of communion and make us mourn an absent Savior. Bunyan tells us that unbelief has “as many lives as a cat”; if so, let us kill one life now, and continue the work until the whole nine are gone. Down with you, traitor, my heart detests you.

The Family Bible Reading Plan

  • 1 Samuel 19
  • 1 Corinthians 1

Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg.

Alistair Begg – Foreigners in The Lord’s House

Foreigners have come into the holy places of the Lord’s house. Jeremiah 51:51
In this account the faces of the Lord’s people were covered with shame, for it was a terrible thing for men to intrude upon the Holy Place that was reserved exclusively for the priests. Everywhere around us we see similar cause for sorrow. How many ungodly men are now studying with a view to entering the ministry! What a crying sin is that solemn lie by which our whole population is nominally part of a National Church! How fearful it is that ordinances should be pressed upon the unconverted, and that among the more enlightened churches of our land there should be such laxity of discipline. If the thousands who will read this portion will take this matter before the Lord Jesus today, He will interfere and avert the evil that otherwise will come upon His Church. To adulterate the church is to pollute a well, to pour water upon fire, to sow a fertile field with stones. May we all have grace to maintain in our own proper way the purity of the Church as being an assembly of believers and not a nation, an unsaved community of unconverted men.
Our zeal must, however, begin at home. Let us examine ourselves as to our right to eat at the Lord’s Table. Let us see to it that we are wearing our wedding garment, lest we ourselves should be regarded as foreigners in the Lord’s holy place. Many are called, but few are chosen; the way is narrow, and the gate is strait. O for grace to come to Jesus aright, with the faith of God’s elect. He who smote Uzzah for touching the ark is very jealous of His two ordinances. As a true believer I may approach them freely; as a foreigner I must not touch them in case I die. Heart-searching is the duty of all who are baptized or come to the Lord’s Table. “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!”1
1) Psalm 139:23
The Family Bible Reading Plan
1 Samuel 10
Romans 8
Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg.

Our Daily Bread — Einstein and Jesus

 

Read: John 9:1-7

Bible in a Year: Psalms 89-90; Romans 14

Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world.” —John 8:12

We remember Albert Einstein for more than his disheveled hair, big eyes, and witty charm. We know him as the genius and physicist who changed the way we see the world. His famous formula of E=mc2 revolutionized scientific thought and brought us into the nuclear age. Through his “Special Theory of Relativity” he reasoned that since everything in the universe is in motion, all knowledge is a matter of perspective. He believed that the speed of light is the only constant by which we can measure space, time, or physical mass.

Long before Einstein, Jesus talked about the role of light in understanding our world, but from a different perspective. To support His claim to be the Light of the World (John 8:12), Jesus healed a man who had been blind from birth (9:6). When the Pharisees accused Christ of being a sinner, this grateful man said, “Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see” (v. 25).

While Einstein’s ideas would later be proven difficult to test, Jesus’ claims can be tested. We can spend time with Jesus in the Gospels. We can invite Him into our daily routine. We can see for ourselves that He can change our perspective on everything. —Mart DeHaan

Lord Jesus, You are the one constant in this chaotic world. Thank You for being the one true Light that the darkness can never extinguish.

Only as we walk in Christ’s light can we live in His love.

INSIGHT: In comparison to the other gospels, the gospel of John is sparse in recording Jesus’ miracles. John records only seven miracles, but he does so for a specific purpose. In John 20:30-31 he writes: “Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not recorded in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” Several of the miracles that John recorded pair with a significant statement about Jesus’ identity. After He fed the multitude with five loaves and two fish (6:1-13), He claimed to be “the bread of life” (v. 35). He said He was the “light of the world” (8:12) and then healed the man born blind (ch. 9). People believed in Jesus as the Messiah in response to His miracles (6:14; 9:38). J.R. Hudberg